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ANTA02.Lec4Jan26.MS.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA02H3
Professor
Maggie Cummings
Semester
Winter

Description
ANTA02 - Lec02 Lecture #4 - January 26, 2010 The Sperm and the Egg- PDF The Muslim Woman - PDF Feeding Desire - Chapter 3 Reminders - FEBRUARY 5 = Think-piece assignment due - FEBRUARY 9 = Midterm! (All Multiple Choice) Last week - worldview: categories through which we can understand and experience the world - Shared cultures and beliefs transmitted through language - Time and language shaped by worldview - Perpetuate worldviews through rituals/ rites of passage (1) Separation (2) Liminality - middle stage of the rites of passages  no social status  betwixed and between  “Threshold” - you are standing in between two different things  Considered the most dangerous time during a rite of passage  things can go wrong and be SOCIALLY dangerous  Would be left without a status  If you go through it with other people, you make really strong bonds with these people i.e. military bootcamp - separated (shave head, estranged from self)  in Communitas - close bonds that supersede the intellectual o bring people in line with certain worldviews/ belief systems o end up with very close ties to people (feel attached to others - at a level of emotions and embodiment) (3) Integration BIOLOGY, BLOOD, and BELONGING -------------------------------------------------------------  See biology in a euro- American way  “natural” - we mean biological (i.e. acting a certain way is “natural”, meaning it is biological)  Biology defines reality and the laws of nature  Azawagh Arabs - biology on its own does not explain reality o “natural” = what is dictated by Allah (God’s will) Social Categories that shape our lives when we are born: (1) GENDER  WHY DO CERTAIN PEOPLE THINK CERTAIN WAYS ?  Cultural Constructionism - believe that: human behaviours and ideas are best explained as result of culturally shaped learning o PEOPLE DO THINGS BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THEY LEARNED IT  Spatial skills have been passed on culturally through learning and Example 1 that parents socialize their children (male/ female) differently from birth  Social construct think about knowledge in a subjective/ situational aspect  Concept or practise that appears to be natural, obvious, common sense, essential, timeless, god given Page 1 of 6  Take for granted as being common sense BUT is really a cultural invention or artefact  Example: Gender, Understanding of time (since industrialism and capitalism)  Result of human choices over a length of time (not necessarily intentional) -behaviour not a result of god or nature o Allow us to answer questions about how our worldviews are constructed (i.e. rituals, social construct) o How are certain phenomena created, institutionalised, and then turned into common sense? o Seen as an ongoing, dynamic process (biology - we behave based on biology; social construct- culture changes and that changes our behaviour; reality is not out there just for us to understand but is reproduced by people acting on their interpretations of worldviews and social constructs) o Knowledge is not out there for us to receive or find; not one objective knowledge; derived from and maintained by social interactions (culturally situated)  Biological Determinism - gives priority to biological features (genes, hormones, etc) and use them to explain behaviour and ideas o IE.:LOOK FOR CONGENITAL DEFECT TO LOOK FOR THE CAUSE OF CERTAIN BEHAVIOURS o Spatial Skills - human males have better spatial abilities than females as a Example 1 result of EVOLUTIONARY processes  Advantages in securing food, mates, impregnate more women, and thus pass on their skills to offspring  Most people take both perspectives into account (biology and culture)  Anthropologists fall under the cultural constructionism/ social constructionism category (2) G ENDER  Not all cultures rely on distinctions between rank, prestige, hierarchy, castes, classes  BUT all cultures use gender and age to categorize people and give them roles  Social construct - even though it is real/ biological, and the natural way of categorizing people o Sex - biological categories (males/ females) based on the genital, chromosomal, and hormonal differences o Gender - refers to patterns of culturally constructed and learned behaviour/ ideas attributed to men and women  men and women as social beings - what characteristics and roles they conform to  it is “mapped” on by “cultural frosting” on a “biological cake”  gender differences - refer to people as SOCIAL beings (men/ women; not females/ males) o i.e. men never need to ask for directions, women always need a map o attribute social things to sex differences (but are really social) - refer back to the sex differences to make sense of and explain reality o gender roles are reversed in many parts of the world (therefore, are culturally learned and not determined by biology) o only biological differences (generally) - giving birth, breastfeeding - everything else can be attributed to gender differences (socially) Page 2 of 6 (3)A NTHROPOLOGY AND G ENDER  See gender as a social construct- because of the difference they see in different cultures  Men don’t contribute any biological substance to a child - no biological need for men to contribute anything to a fetus (Trobriand island) o Gender roles varies between cultures  Assumptions about gender as “natural” th o Early 20 century, most anthropologists’ ethnographies were based on the information given by male informants (even information about what women did) *culture portrayed from the male point of view) o Assumed that there were natural roles between men and women - meaning you could look at any cultural and know what women were doing because they were naturally caregivers and housewives  Began looking at culture from the native’s point of view - gender roles of men and women could not be predicted or attributed to their biological differences  All human societies differentiate between men and women = considered important o Sex differences (culturally constructed) varies between cultures as well Examples: [Sambia of Papua New Guinea] - Have been valiant and ferocious warriors - Constantly under attack - needed to be trained to become warriors a. Boys do not “naturally” become men; they need help (requires work)  Difficulties with ‘coming of age’/ adolescence  Have to do work; go through trials to get there; and then “protect” it  Painful and difficult  Masculinity as a man is under threat and needs to be maintained and augmented o Until 6years old -live with mothers o After 6years, go live with men and don’t return until they are in their late teens o Get married when they return but will never live with the women again (live in “men’s houses”)  Live in constant fear of women - women’s bodily fluids have the ability to steal men’s strength and masculinity  Boys have to undergo a rite of passage 1. beginning with the separation from mothers 2. Transition State - induce the physiological changes that turn boys into men (stronger, braver, hairier,) *Something has to be done (induce) to make this change happen - boys lacked a physical substance that influenced the development of stature, height, muscles, warrior- quail - “Jurungdu” -essential masculine substance  concentrated in semen (from plants, foo
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